Saffery Champness assists the Cibus Fund, advised by ADM Capital, on carve-out acquisition of assets to create The Summer Berry Company

9 Mar 2020

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The Cibus Fund, as advised by ADM Capital Europe LLP, carved out assets from an international berry producer, advised by Saffery Champness, to create The Summer Berry Company (TSBCo).

The Cibus Fund sought buy-side diligence and advisory services from Saffery Champness’ London Corporate Finance Team for its acquisition of over 230 hectares of premium berry assets in the South of England. Saffery Champness’ Bristol office has become auditor to this newly created company and its UK subsidiaries.

ADM Capital is a Hong Kong and London-based private credit and private equity fund manager and adviser. Founded in 1998, ADM Capital manages or advises on assets of $2.29 billion across a range of funds. With over 47 people operating out of three international offices ADM Capital manages or advises closed-end, open-ended and managed accounts. With its long track record, ADM Capital focuses on off-market private transactions accessed via its extensive, proprietary network.

The Cibus series of funds were launched in May 2017 and now collectively amount to over $490 million, focussing on mid-market investment opportunities in sustainable food processing and production companies, primarily across Europe, North America and Australasia. The Cibus Fund aims to take advantage of investment opportunities presented by global demographic changes, shifting trade patterns and the inability of the world’s fastest growing economies to meet increasing regional demand for high-value foods. The Cibus Fund targets companies that are established category champions with a demonstrable technological advantage.

TSBCo’s use of advanced horticultural techniques and its adoption of new technology means that it has grown to become a market leader of soft-fruit production, supplying strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries to the most prominent retailers in the UK, including Waitrose, Tesco and Marks & Spencer as well as other European retailers. In 2016 TSBCo began operating a farm in Portugal, extending the production season and allowing new varieties of berries to be grown through the winter months.

Jeremy Alun-Jones, Chairman of ADM Capital Europe LLP’s Investment Committee and Director of TSBCo, commented: “We are delighted to announce The Cibus Fund’s investment in TSBCo which underlines our commitment to investing in industry leaders who place innovation, efficiency and sustainability at the heart of their business, to produce the highest quality products. TSBCo is well-positioned to meet the growing demand for berries as a superfood. With global berry consumption growing strongly, we look forward to seizing the opportunity to execute the business’ ambitious growth strategy and build on the company’s fantastic legacy.”

Jason Silm, Senior Investment Director, Cibus Fund commented: “Contained farming is one of the pillars of our investment strategy. By using the latest indoor farming technologies, TSBCo mitigates the risks posed by adverse weather conditions and disease. These technologies optimise water use, nutrient delivery and growing conditions for the best possible yields, whilst maintaining quality and flavour. We look forward to working with the company’s management team to vertically integrate the operation and, using advanced distribution, take the company directly into new markets.”

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